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CHRISTIANITY    AND    HUMAN    RELATIONSHIPS

to the first principles of religion may become extremely
pertinent.

n

It Vould perhaps be generally agreed that if all our
ordinary rules and precepts are to be referred in the last
resort to one ultimate law which regulates the conduct
of life and applies to all circumstances and stands as the
final measure of all action, then that law must be much
more flexible than our ordinary formulas and regulations,
and indeed must be in a certain sense almost a definition
of elasticity itself. At the same time, if it is to provide
us with a genuine standard for the judgment of human
conduct, that law must not be merely cloudy and amor-
phous ; and therefore in another sense it is essential to
assert its definiteness, its importunity and the clarity of
its insistences. It must be capable of operating effec-
tively on people and showing perceptible and even
measureable results.

For those who follow the New Testament the ultimate
principle in question is that law of Christian love which
comprises amongst other things all that we know of
charity or of charitable-mindedness. For the Christian
this is not only the first of laws but it is a unique oneó
it stands through time as the source of all others that
might be prescribed. And it is absolute. If we can
imagine anything more charitable that we might have